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Graphion's Online Type Museum
Graphion's Online Type Museum
J. Gutenberg
W. Caxton
A. Manutius
W. Caslon
G. Bodoni
F. Goudy
E. Gill
J. Tschichold
B. Warde’s Crystal Goblet
Typographic glossary

Jan Tschichold

Jan Tschichold had been expected to follow in the carreer of his father, a letter-painter. But he was exposed to typography at the Leipzig Akademie, where he studied under the type designer Walter Tiemann. His enthusiasm for avant-garde design was sparked by a visit to the 1924 Bauhaus exhibition. In 1928, he published Die neue Typographie, in which he advocated the use of sans serif typefaces and assymetric layout. By 1935, however, he had reconsidered many of his earlier positions, calling, in his Typographische Gestaltung, for a more traditional, formal approach to typographic design. He also became known for his study of medieval page proportions, and advocacy of the golden section.

After the Second World War, Tschichold moved to England, where he single-handedly redesigned the entire Penguin paperback library, probably the first application of fine typography to the paperback book, and certainly (at over six hundred volumes) one of the most ambitious design projects in the history of type.

In 1960, Tschichold was commissioned by the firms of Monotype, Linotype, and Stempel to create a classical typeface that could be produced with no variations for the Monotype and the Linotype typesetting machines, and also for hand-setting. He named the result Sabon, which has since been adapted for phototypesetting systems, and continues to grow in popularity, particularly in Europe.